How To Request Time Off From Work


Taking some time away from work can put you in a better state of mind and increase your productivity when you return. While a break has benefits, you have to tell your employer about the plan. You can strengthen the relationship with your boss if you effectively communicate your request to take time off while keeping your employer’s goals in mind. We will share some strategies to request time off from work and ensure your employer is on the same page.

Reasons to request time off from work

Taking time off from work can have many benefits, especially if you need it. Some workers get burned out after working overtime for several weeks. Some workers stop enjoying their careers because of excessive hours. A change in scenery and pace can revitalize your passion and help you return to work better than ever. While most employees schedule vacations to get new experiences, you can also use a vacation to distance yourself from work and recover from burnout.

Some workers also need off time for other reasons, such as health issues and other day-to-day challenges that continue to stack up. Requesting time off when you have a good reason will make employers more sympathetic to your request.

5 steps to request time off from work

You have a reason to take off, and now it’s time to send your request. Use these steps to make your request and get off time on the calendar.

Take a look at your company calendar

When you request time off, you’ll have to provide dates, and some dates are better than others. Check the calendar before approaching your employer to ensure you don’t ask for days off during important meetings and busier times of the year. Your employer will be happier to give you days off away from critical events.

Review your company’s PTO policy

Each company has different rules about paid off days. Most companies increase your paid time off as you accrue more years of employment with them. Some workers only request off days that match up with the PTO policy to avoid missing paychecks. The policy will also have rules about how soon you have to notify your supervisor and how many days you can take off at a time.

Plan in advance

Requesting paid time off leaves a gap in the workplace. It’s okay to periodically step away from work and take a few days off, but you should tell your team in advance. Informing people about your off days gives them more time to prepare for a workplace without you. Co-workers can cover for you while you’re gone, and they may ask that you cover for them during their paid time off. You can also plan ahead and get more work done leading up to your break.

Discuss with your manager

Communication is essential for any company’s success. Talking with your manager about potential off days will make them feel more involved in the process and give them time to plan for backup. You shouldn’t go to your manager and tell them the days you will take off. Instead of an authoritative approach, you should ask your manager if it’s okay to take off on your preferred days. Giving your manager a sense of control over the situation can help you get off days on amicable terms. You don’t have to provide a reason for your time off, but sharing what you’re doing can help the conversation. If you plan to take a vacation, your manager may conclude the talk by wishing that you enjoy your trip.

Send a formal request 

A conversation and verbal approval are encouraging, but it’s not enough to secure time off from work. Submitting a formal request through an email, text, or document makes it official. You can refer to your formal request if anyone has questions about your absence. Employees do not have the same choice if they rely on verbal approval. A manager can forget about the conversation and be shocked about your absence.

Request day off email sample

You don’t need to write a long email requesting days off. A short email will save everyone time and can lead to a quicker response. Here’s a sample of an email requesting a day off.

Hello [Manager’s Name],

I would like to take days off from [date range]. Please let me know if it is okay for me to be off on those days and if you need me to cover for anyone else’s off days.

Warm regards,

[Your name]

Time off request template

Want to write a time off request email as quickly as possible? You can use this template as a guide:

Hello [Manager’s Name],

I would like to take days off from [date range] for/because [reason for taking days off]*. Please let me know if it is okay for me to be off on those days and if you need me to cover for anyone else’s off days.

Warm regards,

[Your name]

You don’t have to inform your manager about why you want to take off. However, it can help in some scenarios, and some people want to share. The manager may hope you enjoy your vacation or offer encouraging words if you are taking days off to recover from burnout.

Get the Time Off You Deserve

Taking a break from work can help you spend more time with your family, recover from burnout, and strengthen your work-life balance. Telling your manager in advance can eliminate the friction, so you don’t have to worry about work while taking your days off. Every worker should capitalize on off days to recharge and strengthen their relationships. Don’t be afraid to request off time. You deserve it.

What is the difference between time off and leave?

Taking time off has a definite start and end date. Taking leave does not have a definite end date to the break, and it’s reserved for out of the norm events.

How far in advance should I request time off?

You should request time off several months in advance. The earlier the better.

How do I ask for a month off work?

You should provide the dates, explain your reasoning, and how you can provide more value to the company when you return.

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